Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Heartbreak

Our relationship had started off rocky. Sometimes things just don’t click right away and I found myself easily irritated at the quirks and nuances that I didn’t understand. Given time we persevered and recently, things had really taken a turn for the better. Our daily meetings began to pave paths of connection and I viewed our time together as a creative outlet, holy and healing in its nature. As we spent time together yesterday morning, I was hopeful and excited for plans made for our future. Other obligations came up, forcing our goodbye, but I made plans to return in the evening. Hit by an unexpected wave of exhaustion, I was regrettably forced to delay our next encounter until the morning.

And then the unthinkable happened.

When I arrived for our morning meeting, I discovered that nothing remained. Nothing. Just blackness and the intermittent sound of air struggling to breathe life into the lifeless.

Now, standing across a counter from a man I did not know, I attempted to process the shape of his mouth as it formed the words: Catastrophic Failure.

No one wants to hear those two utterances, let alone a writer whose latest creative musings now lie entombed inside the carcass of machinery I had arrived with. I had hoped, prayed for resurrection, but here I was, face to face with Steve from Geek Squad as he handed back my now-useless laptop and delivered the news.

As a steady stream of expletives raced through my mind, I held just enough social grace to stop short of allowing their exit from my lips. We were in public after all.

My thoughts were flooded with the hours and hours spent at the keyboard, pounding words out from the recesses of my soul. How I wrote, read, revised, despised, deleted and reworked over and over, each time reaching deeper into the darkness in pursuit of authenticity and liberation. With each keystroke, I had planted seeds of myself inside the safety and security of what I had come to revere as a trusted confidant. If there was no honesty elsewhere in this world, it had lived in the inner mechanisms of that motherboard.

Steve shrugged and sent me apathetically on my way with a $900 quote for a new laptop and a mediocre reassurance that my beloved pages could be recoverable, should I be willing to cough up an extra fee. I mean, really? What is another hundred bucks when the fate of soul workings are on the line?!

I’ll try to remember that when the bill comes.

Returning to my car, I carelessly tossed the now defunct encasement of electronics on the passenger side seat. Staring down at what remained of the moments we had shared, a final word bubbled to the surface.



  1. Oh no, your poor computer! (At least I hope it's a computer. How awkward would it be if I were to find out later that this was a human being?)

    I love how you wrote this, because when I first started reading I was like, "Aw! How cute!" Then I read the title, and then I got a bit wary.

    And then I kept reading, and I couldn't help but laugh and ache in empathy. I've had this laptop since I was in eighth grade (my mom noticed my weird affinity for computers) and had pretty much my whole life on it. Over eight years of practically everything, gone in one ugly error-beep sound.

    I've since learned to save a backup, no matter how added an inconvenience it happens to be. Hopefully you'll be able to recover as well.

    1. Thanks! I'll be better prepared now dreaded error codes should it ever happen again. Fool me once, but not twice!

  2. No!!!!!

    I am hoping this is fiction. This is every writer's nightmare!

    1. True story! Thankfully I had outdated drafts at least of some of my work and I'm hoping they will be able to recover the rest. If not, I'll have to chalk it up to having 'my darlings' killed for me. Ugh. Painful.